Tips for Preventing Wandering in Children with Autism

If you are a parent, it’s likely that you know the terror and panic that is immediate when one of your children steps out of your sight. Even if it’s a momentary situation, it can be terrifying. The worst part is it can happen anywhere – in a store, at a park, even in your own neighborhood. This problem can be even more troubling for parents who have children who fall on the autism spectrum.

Problem Scope

In 2012, Pediatrics magazine put out a study showing that of over 1,200 children with autism, nearly half had wandered away from home, school, or another place at some point after the age of four. Some of these children for gone for long enough to cause real concern or were found in dangerous places where there was a chance of drowning or being hit by a moving vehicle.

The good news is that there are many things parents can do to protect their children from this danger.

Understand Triggers

While working with a professional who provides Orland Park autism therapy, you can often determine what situations are triggers for a child to wander. These children can be impulsive and things like train tracks or water may catch their attention. They may also bolt when stressful things occur, such as bright lights or loud noises.

Securing the Home

No matter how young your child is, securing your home is an excellent step for preventing this dangerous problem. Make sure doors that lead outside are shut and locked at all times. You may even want to install alarms that let you know someone has opened the door.

Behavior and Communication Strategies

Orland Park autism therapy can be a help when it comes to teaching your child the proper strategies to use when they are stressed. Your child can be taught to self-soothe and calm themselves when triggers happen. In addition, family members and teachers should also be aware of the importance of keeping your child engage and busy, which can drop the tendency to wander off.

Monitoring and Identification

A third of children who have autism may not be able to communicate their name if someone asks, much less their phone number or address. Having a GPS device on your child is one way to alleviate this problem. Other options are including medical alert tags or names marked on their clothing.

If you are interested in learning more about autism therapy can benefit your child and your family, Cornerstones Austim Services would be happy to tell you more.

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